Puget Sound English Department

February 24, 2010

You Can’t Judge a Book…

Filed under: International,Literature,Publishing — ATH @ 1:42 pm
Tags: , ,

by its cover; nor, apparently, by its title.

The Bookseller has just published its shortlist for the Diagram Prize, an award given to the “Oddest Book Title of the Year.” theBookseller.com‘s blogger on the topic, Horace Bent (no, you can’t make these things up), suggests with some glee that “oddity is recession proof”–and, apparently, independent of the larger worries facing the publishing industry. This is all to our benefit, as we can bask in the glow of oddity without ever reading a page. Link to Bent’s current post, with the short list in its entirety, is here. In the meantime, a few highlights:

Collectible Spoons of the Third Reich
What Kind of Bean is This Chihuahua?
Afterthoughts of a Worm Hunter

Bent also reflects on the selection process, answering the burning question of why Bacon, A Love Story didn’t make the cut.

For those of you yearning for more, Sarah Lyall’s witty article from the NYT offers gems from past contests.

The Diagram Prize has been awarded annually since 1978. Might we suggest a course on “The Diagram Prize Winners” to follow Professor Kupinse’s wildly successful current course on recent winners of the Booker Prize?


November 4, 2009

Obituary of Scholar Claude Lévi-Strauss

Filed under: International,Literature — O. @ 5:08 pm

Claude Lévi-Strauss died on October 31. He was an immensely influential scholar whose ideas concerning Structuralism affected many different fields, including literary studies.


Here is a link to an obituary from the Telegraph in London.

October 30, 2009

Margaret Atwood’s New Novel

Filed under: International,Literature — O. @ 6:24 pm

As Professor Tracy Hale noted in a post last month, Margaret Atwood‘s new novel has been published.

And now the Director of Collins Library, Jane Carlin, has sent along a link to more information about the book:


Thanks to Allison and Jane for the information.


October 16, 2009

Professor Christoph Blogs From Zanzibar

Filed under: International,Writing & Rhetoric — O. @ 7:52 pm

Professor Julie Christoph of the English Department is spending the academic year in Zanzibar as a Fulbright Senior Lecturer, and, fortunately for us, she is recording many of her (and her family’s) experiences and responses with the following Web log:


October 13, 2009

Anthology of Canadian Verse

Filed under: International,Literature — O. @ 6:14 pm

canadianIf you are interested in discovering more about contemporary Canadian poetry, you might take a look at The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Verse, edited by Carmine Starnino (a poet from Montreal) and published by Vehicule Press in 2006.

October 10, 2009

Herta Mueller, Nobel Laureate

Filed under: International,Literature — O. @ 5:02 pm

In the context of Collins’ Library’s own recent display of “banned books,” Library Director Jane Carlin wrote to remind us that “Herta Mueller, a  Romanian,  won the Nobel Literature Prize.  Mueller’s work depicts her harsh life in a small village in Romania  and was CENSORED by the communist government.  In 1984 an uncensored copy of a series of short stories was smuggled out of the country into Germany where it has been described as being ‘devoured’ by readers! “

Read more about Mueller by listening to the NPR podcast at:  http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=113624786

Thanks to Jane for sending this item along.

September 25, 2009

Joan of Arc

Filed under: International,Literature — O. @ 3:09 am
Tags: ,

Here is a link to an article by Denise Despres, Professor and Chair of English at the University of Puget Sound; the article is titled “Joan of Arc and Sacrificial Authorship,” and in appeared in Christianity and Literature:


September 17, 2009

A Novel About Buddha’s Wife

Filed under: International,Literature,Publishing — O. @ 9:29 pm

zenGabriel Constans has published a novel called Buddha’s Wife, and it has received critical acclaim already:

“Buddha’s Wife tells a fascinating story, little known in the west, about the woman whom Buddha left behind. Gabriel Constans focuses the reader’s attention on the strong and complicated women who surrounded Buddha and makes us re-think the nature of spiritual life.”
Chitra Divakaruni, international best-selling author and American Book Award winner, whose books include Mistress of Spices, Sister of My Heart and Palace of Illusions.

“This book is an awesome read, insightful, woman loving – a challenge to all spiritual seekers to rethink, re-vise, and dream anew.”
bell hooks, professor, activist and author of national bestseller all about love.

The quotations are taken from the site. . .


The novel is published by Robert D. Reed Publishers in Bandon, Oregon, and the ISBN is  978-1-934759-29-5.

August 20, 2009

The Most Powerful Women–According to FORBES

Filed under: Activities off Campus,General,International — O. @ 6:12 pm

Forbes magazine has released its list of those women whom it considers to be the most powerful in the world.  “Powerful” in what sense? Well, German Prime Minister Angela Merkel comes in first, so political power seems to matter to Forbes, and Sheila Blair, the chief of the Federal Insurance Deposit Administration (FDIC) in the U.S. comes in second, so, not surprisingly, banking and economics in the U.S. seem to interest the editors of the magazine.  Here is a link to more information about the list:


August 16, 2009

Anthology of Short Fiction From New Zealand

Filed under: International,Literature — O. @ 1:12 am

New Zealand seems lately to have become an increasingly  poplar destination for those interested in studying abroad.  Even if you haven’t studied in or traveled to New Zealand, however, you may be interested in The Flamingo Anthology of New Zealand Fiction, edited by Michael Morrissey and published by HarperCollins in 2000. According to the “product-description” on amazon.com, the anthology includes stories by Katherine Mansfield, Frank Sargeson, Maurice Duggan, Janet Frame, Maurice Shadbolt, C.K. Stead, Russell Haley, Vincent O’Sullivan, Patricia Grace, Fiona Kidman, Owen Marshall, Sue McCauley, Elizabeth Smither, Michael Morrissey, Sheridan Keith, Shonagh Koea, Witi Ihimaera, Peter Wells, John Cranna, Lloyd Jones and Emily Perkins.

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